The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan’s 2009 deficit is likely to clock in at over $1 billion, nearly a quarter of a billion more than previously estimated (and with only 5 months left in FY 2009 to make cuts).
Sen. Ron Jelinek, R-Three Oaks, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said there’s no agreement on the size of the deficit or spending cuts from private meetings.
He said the $1 billion-plus deficit estimate is â€œentirely possible.â€ He added that that tax revenues for April have not yet been counted, although they appear weaker than expected.
Jelinek said if the deficit was erased solely by spending cuts, much of state government would shut down because half of their 2008-09 budgets have already been consumed.
Jelinek said layoffs of some state employees are likely, but added, â€œNobody knows who or where or how many. None of that is agreed to.â€
If you’re wondering how big Michigan’s budget is, the answer is $42.8 billion. There is $1 billion in federal stimulus money that can be used to stave off a crisis in the same way that Lansing took the easy path of cashing in on tobacco money rather than deal with the root issue two years ago. As the Center for Michigan relates, if they opt for the comfy way out again, we’re facing a nightmare scenario of having to remove 1/4 or more of our public spending over the next 10 years:
The state budget deficit for the year ending this October is more than $1 billion and growing by hundreds of millions of dollars each month. Projections put the long-term structural deficit at $10 billion by 2017 and those projections, now a year old, very well may have been too hopeful.
Double-digit drops in property values are quickly eroding local government budgets.
Reinvention is at hand. Like it or not.
With Lansing firmly on top of the issue and in agreement on what to do, reinvention would probably have a little less desperate ring to it…